For that (self) who has mastered oneself by oneself, the self alone is a friend of oneself. Whereas, for the self who has not mastered oneself, the self alone would remain in the status of an enemy, like an enemy. (Bh.Gita 6.6)
For that self (discussed in Chapter 6 Verse 5 ), the self is a friend. When? When the self has been won over, jitah. And what self is being discussed here? What atma can be won over? It cannot be satcitanandaatma. Because I can only win over something that I can objectify. And the only object in which I have the 'I'-notion, is the body-mind-sense-complex. It is this complex, then, that is in one's hands and has to be mastered. Won over by whom? By oneself, meaning by one's own inquiry, by one's own discipline, by one's own will and effort.
THE THREE POWERS AT OUR DISPOSAL
The one who has mastered the body-mind-sense-complex is called a vashi and is a friend to himself or herself. The body-mind-sense-complex serves this person with the threefold powers it is endowed with — the power to think, explore, know, and remember – jnana-shakti; the power to desire, to will – icchashakti; and the power to act, to make or do – kriyashakti. These three powers are at the disposal of one who is a vashi, the one who has mastery over the entire body-mind-sense complex.
When you have mastery over the body, mind, and senses, then all their powers are with you. Therefore, the body-mind-sense complex becomes a benefactor for gaining that which is desirable; it can take you anywhere — to brahma-loka or even to Brahman, to moksha. This is the maximum it can do because you cannot become greater than Brahman. You are already Brahman, in fact. As one who has mastery over the body mindsense-complex, you are endowed with the powers — you require to recognise this fact.
Because you can gain punya by following a life of dharma, the body-mind-sense complex again becomes a bandhu (friend). And, for gaining moksha, it also becomes a benefactor to you. Thus, the same body-mind-sense complex, is a benefactor to you all the way provided, of course, that it is won over by you.
Now, suppose this bodymindsense-complex is not won over by you but, instead, is holding you hostage. Then what happens? The bodymindsensecomplex cannot become a bandhu for you. Instead, you are a bandhu for the body, mind, and senses. In this way, the same atma (self), body-mind-sense complex, becomes ripu, an enemy, one who creates obstructions for you, one who puts the proverbial spokes in your wheels.
The person who does not have oneself, in his or her own hands is called anatma in this verse. This is the person for whom the body-mind-sense complex remains as an enemy alone, meaning that the self plays the role of an enemy. Krsihna makes it very clear that there is no enemy other than oneself alone.
Generally, we point a finger at someone other than ourselves and declare that person an enemy. This is done by everyone to some degree or other. And, if no one is available locally, Satan or some other planet will be accused! Everyone feels persecuted by someone or something. Always, there is some imagined fear in people that makes them point at someone as an enemy. By doing this, of course, you are giving the other person a handle with which he or she can disturb you.
No one can disturb you unless you allow them to. Nevertheless, people do have this persecution problem to some extent and they suffer from it. In fact, whenever you point out an enemy with your index finger, your accusing finger, there are three remaining fingers that point back towards yourself. These three fingers, therefore, are said to stand for the physical body, mind, and senses, the kaarya-karana-sanghaata that is oneself, the only enemy, there is. In this way, then, atma occupies the place of the enemy. Just like an external enemy, it is inimical to you.
YOU TAKE YOUR MIND WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU GO
When you analyse your complaints, you find that they are mental, meaning they are of the mind. You allow yourself to be affected by the world and then, afterwards, you call the world bad and renounce it. You want to renounce this world you have labelled 'bad' and go to a world that you have imagined to be 'good,' which is called fantasy. But, when you go to this good world, you find it is as bad as the one you left behind! Why? Because you carry your mind, the enemy, with you; you do not leave it behind.
The same mind that interpreted the world as bad is not given up and, with that mind, you move to the socalled good world. In this way, then, the mind is carried with you wherever you go. Even if you go to heaven, you will find problems there because the same mind goes with you — it is carried forward and carried over! And having this same mind with you, this same complaining mind, you always find reason enough to complain, whatever the place or the circumstances. This is what Krishna¸a means when he says that one is indeed like an enemy for oneself.
When you carry such a mind with you, mind that is always interpreting given situations according to its own notions, even your guru, considered to be a great bandhu, benefactor, cannot help you. What can any guru do if the person is always thinking, 'My guru does not care about me. I don't think he considers me a good student,' and so on. One makes such conclusions because of that same mind alone. Finally speaking then, you are the only bandhu there is.Om Tat Sat